7 Women to Watch in 2013

In 2012 we witnessed the rise of some of the world’s most talented and dedicated women – in the fields of business and media, sport, fashion, politics and the arts. But which go-getting gals are set to be the star players of 2013?

2012 was quite a year for women on the international stage. We watched US businesswoman Marissa Mayer leap to 3rd place on Forbes’ Power Women list (from an initial 92nd ranking), and looked on in awe as Lena Dunham landed five Emmy nominations for her HBO hit, Girls. There was cheering for Sally Pearson as she sprinted her way to Olympic gold for Australia, and we welcomed new talent, Karise Eden, as she pushed past The Beatles to make music chart history.

But what’s more exciting is that 2013 looks set to be even bigger… Here are 7 inspirational ladies to keep a close eye on in the months ahead.

1) Caterina Fake, 43
Caterina FakeFlickr co-founder Caterina Fake is the ultimate serial entrepreneur, having moved quickly onwards since Yahoo! acquired her photo-sharing website in 2005. Her subsequent project, Hunch was bought by eBay for a reported $80 million in 2011 and now all eyes are on her latest project, Findery, a location-based note sharing service. The site has been in public beta since October and is expected to take off in a big way in the next 12 months.

2) Elizabeth Broderick, 51
Elizabeth BroderickThis hard-working mum of two has spent the past few years fighting – and winning – some big battles for Australian women. She pushed for paid maternity leave, set targets for getting women into exec level roles, and in 2012 headed a review into sexism in the military. As Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Broderick no doubt has her next equality battle firmly in her sights and we cannot wait to watch.

3) Natalia Grzybowski, 23
Natalia GrzybowskiAustralia’s hottest new designer to land under the fashion radar is a 23-year-old graduate fresh from the University of Technology in Sydney. Natalia’s debut designs – distinguished by sculptural silhouettes and bold, floral prints – won her the Australians in New York Fashion Foundation scholarship last year and a six-month internship with Calvin Klein. “This experience will be life changing,” she says, “and no doubt it will further shape me as a designer.” The world will certainly be watching this emerging young talent later in the year.

4) Sara Blakely, 41
Sara BlakelySelf-made billionaire Blakely is of course the woman behind the Spanx body-shaping garment sitting in thousands of women’s underwear drawers. But the brand is going bigger and bolder in 2013 as the savvy entrepreneur opens up stand-alone retail stores and attempts to transition Spanx into a lifestyle brand. Feel free to get excited, as there’ll be a whole new range of products aside from shape-wear, including bras, swimwear and a collection of compression tees. There’s even underwear for men.

5) Anna Funder, 46
Anna FunderMelbourne-born writer Anna Funder has already taken the literati by storm. First with her best-selling account of anti-Hitler activists, Stasiland, and then with her debut novel All That I Am – which last year earned her the Miles Franklin Literary Award. It’s predicted that 2013 will bring yet more publishing success for the New York based author, who’s been working on follow-up projects in both fiction and non-fiction – including more on the Stasiland story.

6) Mia Wasikowska, 23
Mia WasikowskaJane Eyre and Alice in Wonderland placed this Canberran actress firmly on the map, but we’ll be seeing a lot more of the young star in 2013. In March she’ll appear in psychological thriller Stoker, alongside Nicole Kidman, then later in Only Lovers Left Alive, a vampire flick with Tilda Swindon. Then of course there’s the long-awaited Madame Bovary. But if that isn’t enough, she has a further five films coming out later in the year. If Mia isn’t a household name already, she certainly will be by the end of 2013.

7) Natalie Massenet, 47
Natalie MassenetNatalie is the founder of high-end fashion e-tailer net-a-porter.com and, as of September 2012, Chairwoman of the British Fashion Council. This new appointment will certainly bring its challenges for the American entrepreneur, as she’s tasked with promoting British design talent on an international stage and taking London Fashion Week to another level. “My experience is in merging extraordinary creative content with innovative global commerce,” she announced in a statement. “From January, I aim to apply these lessons to my new role.”

Of course, the list of ladies set for big wins in 2013 could go on and on. For both young stars and established talents, a year of exciting and boundless opportunity awaits.

About the Author
Zoe Smith is a freelance writer based in Sydney, specialising in Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment content. Zoe has written for Australian Women’s Weekly, CLEO, Grazia, Woman’s Day, NW, ninemsn Travel, ninemsn Food, Health & Wellbeing, Shop til you Drop, Ralph, Your Beauty Spot, and has interviewed Gordon Ramsay and Catherine Zeta Jones. She has also written reviews for restaurants, cookbooks and films.

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